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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

SIEGE 0? MATBUIUL                                65
with Balaram he invaded the city of the dead and claimed from Jama the
Br&hman's son, whom they took back with them to the light of day and
restored to Ms enraptured parents. The shell in which the demon had dwelt
(whence his title Sankhasnr) was ever thereafter borne by the hero as his
special emblem* under the name of Panchajanya.
Meanwhile, the widows of King Kansa had fled to Magadha, their native
land, and implored their father, Jarasandha, to take up arms and avenge their
murdered lord. Scarcely had Krishna returned to Mathnra when the assem-
bled hosts invested the city. The gallant prince did not wait the attack ; but,
accompanied by Balaram, sallied forth, routed the enemy and took Jarasan-
dha prisoner. Compassionating the utterness of his defeat, they allowed him
to return to Ms own country, where, unmoved by the generosity of Ms victors,
he immediately began to raise a new army on a still larger scale than the pre-
ceding, and again invaded the dominions of Ugrasen* Seventeen times did
Jarasandha renew the attack, seventeen times was he repulsed by Krishna.
Finding it vain to continue the struggle alone, he at last called to his aid King
Kala-yavana,f who with his barbarous hordes from the far west bore down
upon the devoted city of Matnura. That very night Krishna bade arise oa
the remote shore of the Bay of Kachh the stately Fort of DwaraM, and
thither, in a moment of time, transferred the whole of his faithful people : the
first intimation that reached them of their changed abode was the sound of the
roaring waves when they woke on the following morning. He then returned
to do battle against the allied invaders ; but being hard pressed by the barba-
rian king, he fled and took refuge in a cave, where the holy Muchkunda was
sleeping, and there concealed himself. When the Yavana arrived, he took the-
sleeper to be Krishna and spurned him with his foot, whereupon Muchkunda
awoke and with a glance reduced him to ashes4 But meanwhile Mathura had
* The legend has been invented to explain why the sankha, or conch-shell, is employed a* &
religions emblem: the simpler reason is to be found in the fact of its constant use as an auxi-
liary to temple worship. In consequence of a slight similarity in the name, thia incident Is popu-
larly connected with the Tillage of Sonsa in the Mathnra pargana, without much regard to the
exigencies of the narrative, since Prabhasa, where JPanchajana was slain, is far away on the
shore of the Western Ocean in Gujarat.
f The aonl of Kala-yavana is supposed in a second birth to hare animated the body of the
tyrannical Aarangzeb.
% The traditional scene of this event is laid at Muchktmd, a lake three miles to the
west of Dfaolpnr, where two bathing fairs are annually held: the one in May, the other at the
beginning of September. The lake has ea many as 114 temples on its banks, though none are
of great antiquity. It covers an area of 41 acres and lies in a natural hollow of great
17